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Announcing: Time-Tracker Feature

Are you a student or professional who would benefit from tracking your research time in your research log? A new time-tracker feature has been developed for ResearchTies and is now in the testing phase. If you would like to participate in the beta test, please send an email to: support@researchties.com to request access to this new feature.

timer

Using the time tracker is simple: click the timer icon, state the current research activity, then start the timer. You will see the timer running on the toolbar. When the activity is complete, click the timer again to record the ending time. All entries are editable and a PDF or Excel® report can be created for a client or professor. Try it today!

Time report

(Click the image to enlarge.)

Three New “Source List” Improvements

The ResearchTies source list has a new format. Rather than separate columns, the source citation fields have been placed together in bibliographic format. This allows users to copy and paste a bibliographic citation into other works with minimal editing. Remember, the author and title are recorded separately so that they can be used in the dropdown boxes of ResearchTies, and the remainder of the source citation for any source is recorded in the “Additional Citation Details” field. If users record the additional details in bibliographic format, the source list will be accurate.

Source

Entries in the list can be sorted by repository, record type, or author. (If the list is sorted on the source citation column, the effect is an author sort, because the author is the first entry in the citation field.)

Second, it is now possible to display titles in italics. A checkbox has been added to the source template for users to indicate when a title should be italicized.

Italics

A third improvement is that the source’s URL has been added to the list. In the past, the URL was recorded in the source template, but it was not visible on the source list. With the URL now showing on the list, it is possible to use the source list as a bookmark list for all the sources you have used. Whether you use FamilySearch, Ancestry, or other sites for research, it takes many clicks to drill down to sources that you use regularly—especially censuses. Use the source list in ResearchTies to record the URL of the search page for each source. When you want to search it again for a different person, open the list, click on the link, and you are ready to begin the next search.

ListURL

As your source list grows, it may require paging through the list to find a particular entry, even if the list is sorted. If this happens, be sure to use the “Find” field in the upper right corner of the screen. Type “census” in that field, and only sources including that term will remain in the list. Or, type “1850” and only entries with 1850 will remain in the list. Experiment with this to see how it works, but the sort and find capacities are powerful tools to speed up research, especially in sources that are used repeatedly.

Improved Search Engine Capacity

We are excited to announce that the search capacity of ResearchTies has been improved recently. When objectives and searches have been data entered for a “family,” it has always been possible to search and retrieve it by family. With the new changes, the search engine will now locate all entries for a family, as well as every entry for each individual who is a member of that family. If objectives and searches were entered for individuals, they can now be retrieved when a search is conducted for all data relevant to their family. These entries are connected by the marriage record number of the parent couple. When a family is recorded, the marriage number is entered on the family template. This connects the husband and wife to the marriage number.

Marriage

When the children are added to the individual list, the template asks for the marriage record number of their parents. This process connects each child to the parents’ marriage number.

Individual

Be sure to include these numbers from your genealogical data management program, and ResearchTies will be able to retrieve all entries for the husband, wife, and all children in a family.

To generate a report for all work done for a family, conduct a search for all objectives for that family. Click “select all” in the upper left corner (or select specific objectives to include in the report using the check boxes to the left). Then, click “report.” Select “Objectives, related searches and results,” and click “Next.” Choose PDF or Excel format, and the report will be generated.

In order to use this functionality, go to your family list and check to see that all Marriage ID numbers are recorded.

MarriageID

Then, go to the Individual List to be sure that each person has their parents’ marriage ID recorded.

IndivID

With the numbers in place, ResearchTies has the ability to retrieve all data for a family in a matter of seconds.

Planning Your Research: Using the “To Do” List Feature

It is important for family historians to regularly analyze their work and plan the next research step before ever approaching the library. When it’s time to research, the plan should already be in place. Wandering through book stacks, library catalogs, or large websites is not an efficient way to find needed information. Write objectives (set goals), then plan the sources to be searched to meet your goal. An earlier blog post has been written about recording Searches in ResearchTies

With planning and recording searches in ResearchTies as part of your research process, you will never forget thoughts and ideas of where to look for additional evidence.

When it’s time to begin a research session, generate your “to do” list. Use the ResearchTies search engine to retrieve planned searches for the repository where you will be working. All matching entries will be listed instantly—even if they were planned months or years ago.

1.  From the home page, click on “Search Your Logs,” or click the magnifying glass in the blue toolbar.

SearchLogs

2.  In the dropdown box, select “Searches.”

3.  Select the Repository.

4.  Select any other desired variables to narrow the hits. For example, if a user wants to focus their work on one family, they can narrow to only that family as well.

5.  In the “Include” section, uncheck “All” and select “To do.”

6.  Click “Search.” (Click on the images to view them in a larger size.)

to do Search

A list of Searches meeting the criteria will be returned. If planned searches have been fully recorded, this “to do” list will display the repository, call number, complete source citation, the scope planned for the search (who and what you’re looking for), and a link to “Add the Result.” While conducting research, access the source, search it, “Add the Results,” then save. The program will return to the “to do” list to choose the next planned item. This process will help you to be a very efficient researcher, and everything necessary to analyze the results will have been recorded in the program for future reference.

to do list

In the process of planning searches, don’t neglect to study catalogs of distant repositories that might have relevant records for the research problem. Don’t ignore the existence of those sources only because it is not an archive or courthouse with easy access. If the opportunity ever presents itself to visit that repository, you will already have your plan in place. When it’s time, generating the list of potentially helpful items will take a matter of seconds.

Every time results are analyzed, new objectives are written, or ideas come for new searches, data enter those plans and ideas. When it’s time for a session of research, whether it be online or at a library, archive, or courthouse, generate the “to do” list and work your plan. With the multi-variable search engine, it’s possible to create a list of broad or very focused “to do” items. Fewer search variables will return a broad list, more variables will narrow to a shorter list.

Goal-setting sessions, planning sessions, research sessions, and analysis sessions are commonly used by professional researchers. Plan your next searches and generate your “to do” list today!

Improved Data Entry: Autofill Feature

dropdown autofill

ResearchTies announces the recent release of a new autofill feature for all dropdown boxes in the program. When users begin typing the desired entry, the autofill feature now highlights the first matching item in gray. Continue typing until the correct entry is highlighted, then use the tab key to autofill the item and move the cursor to the next field. This feature allows keyboard data entry without needing to use the mouse. For those who prefer the mouse, the process has not changed. Begin typing, and when you see the desired entry in the dropdown, click to select it. Either method can be used at any time.

Share a Source from ResearchTies to FamilySearch Family Tree With Only a Few Clicks!

When the results of research are recorded in ResearchTies, they can now be shared with FamilySearch Family Tree without any duplicate effort. All of the necessary information is already available in the log. When a Result is recorded, click the “Share source” button in the bottom-right corner of the form.

Share source

A template will open with all of the FamilySearch required information autofilled in the form.

Share template

Add the reason for attaching the source, click the desired tags, then click “Share.” It’s that easy! The source will be attached to the correct person in FamilySearch Family Tree with the citation and a hyperlink to the document. After sharing, the FamilySearch icon will change from gray to blue to help you remember what has already been shared.

icon change

For all of our FamilySearch features, see the new slideshows in the Learning Center for step-by-step instructions. Enjoy!

Using the ResearchTies Lookup Feature
Using the ResearchTies Share Source Feature
Adding a Research Log to FamilySearch Family Tree

ResearchTies is now FamilySearch® Certified!

FS-Certified

In an earlier blog post, you can read an article about sharing a research log on FamilySearch Family Tree. This month we are announcing new features that are certified to interact with the data in Family Tree. We are very excited to help all researchers share their research, while eliminating all of the duplicate data entry normally required to share records online.

The first step is to record the FamilySearch ID number for each person in your list of Individuals. This process is simplified with the new Lookup feature. When adding a new person or editing an existing person’s entry, click on “Lookup.”

lookup button

Locate the correct entry in the list returned from FamilySearch Family Tree, and click “Select.”

Select

The ID number will be imported into ResearchTies. Save the form. With the ID number recorded, the “Share Source” feature will now be able to attach sources to the correct person in Family Tree.